WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mae Douglas, Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer, Cox Communications, and Tom Rutledge, Chief Operating Officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation, are the 2011 recipients of the cable industry’s top honor, the Vanguard Award for “Distinguished Leadership,” the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced today.
Douglas and Rutledge top the list of nine Vanguard Award winners who will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the cable industry. The 2011 Vanguard Awards will be presented on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at a luncheon and awards ceremony during The Cable Show 2011, NCTA’s 60th Annual Convention & International Exposition, June 14-16 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Inaugurated in 1965, the Vanguard Awards are presented annually to individuals who excel in both business and personal commitment to their colleagues, and whose accomplishments merit the recognition of the entire cable industry.
The Vanguard Awards will be presented by Michael Willner, Chair of the NCTA Vanguard Awards Committee, and Vice Chairman and CEO, Insight Communications. A complete list of 2011 Vanguard Award honorees, along with a description of each award, follows.
Each year, two awards are presented, one to a man and one to a woman, who have consistently demonstrated the highest level of cable industry leadership. This year’s recipients are:
Mae Douglas, Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer, Cox Communications. Appointed to her current position in 2000, Douglas has helped to distinguish Cox Communications for excellence in human resources. Responsible for setting the human capital strategy, Douglas works with Cox’s executive team to drive talent management and development, organizational development, workforce planning, employee relations, labor relations, diversity and inclusion, compensation and human resources information systems. Under her leadership, Cox Communications has received multiple awards and recognition both within the cable industry and the media. She has served on the board of directors for the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and was formerly a board member for the Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT) Foundation, among many other industry groups. She is also a member of the Chief Human Resources Officer Inner Circle, the Executive Leadership Council, Society of Human Resources Management, and National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. Douglas has also been listed among the top minorities in cable, as was presented the first Pioneer award for outstanding leadership and commitment to diversity by NAMIC Atlanta as part of its 25 year celebration, and the Walter Kaitz Foundation, an organization that advances the contributions of multi-ethnic and women professionals in the cable telecommunications industry, has named her a diversity champion.
Tom Rutledge, Chief Operating Officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation. As chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, Rutledge is responsible for overseeing numerous company businesses including: the company’s cable telecommunications business; Rainbow Media, the company’s national programming business; Optimum Lightpath, the company’s all Ethernet carrier-grade business telecommunications provider; Clearview Cinemas; local media properties, which include News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity; and two of the nation’s largest daily newspapers, Newsday and amNewYork. His appointment in January 2002 was a key step toward ensuring the delivery of Cablevision’s new generation of digital telecommunications offerings to more than 5.3 million households and businesses in the company’s New York metropolitan service area. Since Rutledge’s arrival at Cablevision, the company has completed a multibillion-dollar fiber optic network upgrade and was the first U.S. cable provider to offer high-definition video on demand and a VoIP phone product across its entire service area - now the leading phone service where Cablevision does business. It was also the first cable provider to develop and offer a network DVR service and, earlier this month, full in-home cable TV service on an iPad. In December 2010, the company expanded in the Mountain West with the acquisition of Bresnan Communications, providing Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado with advanced cable television services. Rutledge currently serves on the board of NCTA and was formerly chairman of that board from 2008-2010. He also currently serves on the boards of CableLabs, C-SPAN and the CTAM Educational Foundation.
Cable Operations Management
This award recognizes the efforts of cable's system managers, who work under intensely competitive conditions in today's dynamic telecommunications environment, and are critical to the cable industry's success at the local level. This year’s recipient is:
Carol Hevey, Executive Vice President, Time Warner Cable, East Region. Throughout 29 years in the cable industry, Hevey has led organizations to achieve outstanding results through a focus on growth, customer service and employee satisfaction. In her current position, Hevey has responsibility for cable operations serving 5.9 million residential and commercial video, high-speed data, digital voice and wireless customers in Time Warner Cable’s operations in the east. In that role, she has been instrumental in creating a regional operating structure for the company to better serve the region’s customers and 17,000 employees. Active in numerous industry and civic organizations, Hevey has been named to the 2010 Charlotte USA 20 Dynamic Women, Most Powerful Women in Cable by CableFax Magazine, 2007 Multichannel News Wonder Women, and the Queens University 2010 Charlotte Businesswoman of the Year.
Cable’s creative programming services make the industry a leader in the home entertainment and news and information business. This award recognizes innovation, leadership and individual achievement of NCTA’s programmer members. This year’s honoree is:
Doug Herzog, President & CEO, MTV Networks Entertainment Group. A highly-regarded veteran of cable and broadcast programming, Herzog’s mandate with MTV Networks Entertainment Group is to maximize the growth and brand strength of cable networks and Internet sites – including COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom.com and GameTrailers.com. Early in his career at MTV, Herzog developed and supervised “MTV News” and popular shows such as "The Real World," "Unplugged" and "Road Rules," as well as the network's signature "MTV Movie Awards" and "MTV Video Music Awards." During Herzog's original tenure with COMEDY CENTRAL, he was responsible for spearheading several current signature standouts, including Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning series “The Daily Show” and “South Park.” Prior to returning to Viacom in 2004, Herzog served as president at USA Network (2001-2004) where he oversaw operations of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows and theatrical films. Prior to USA, Herzog served as president of entertainment for FOX Broadcasting Company (1998-2000), where he was responsible for all FOX programming, scheduling and marketing.
Science & Technology
This award honors individuals who have played a significant role in product improvement as well as in the design and development of engineering techniques. This year’s honoree is:
Louis D. Williamson, Vice President of Advanced Engineering & Senior Fellow, Time Warner Cable. Williamson has worked on numerous development projects in his 28 years at Time Warner Cable. Most notable were his pioneering work in the field of fiber optics and the development of hybrid fiber coax systems, which earned him a technical Emmy in 1994 and the Polaris Award in 1998. He was one of the original architects of Time Warner Cable’s Full Service Network that was the world’s first video on demand system. Recently, Williamson has worked on Time Warner Cable’s digital video rollout that includes their digital set-tops and VOD. He was the Network Architect for Time Warner’s MystroTV that developed TV on-demand. He currently is Time Warner Cable’s first Senior Fellow and is working on defining the company’s long-term technical architecture.
Government & Community Relations
This award recognizes individuals who have had a significant impact on promoting a positive public image and advocating public policy positions for the cable industry at the national, state and/or local levels. This year’s honoree is:
Sheila R. Willard, Sr. Vice President, Government Affairs, Comcast Cable Communications. Willard develops, coordinates, and executes Comcast’s local political and regulatory strategy in over 6,400 communities in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Among her many accomplishments, Willard lead Comcast through the local franchise consent process for the AT&T Broadband acquisition in 2002, the Adelphia/Time Warner Cable transactions in 2005–2006, and the Insight and Patriot Media transfers in 2007. In addition, she has implemented Comcast’s intergovernmental affairs program, building important strategic relationships with more than 50 intergovernmental agencies nationwide. Her efforts throughout her tenure at Comcast have played an essential role in helping the company clear the requisite regulatory and political hurdles that have enabled Comcast to become the largest provider of cable and residential Internet services in the United States. A recipient of numerous industry and civic organizations, Willard was awarded the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Liberty Award for lifetime achievement in 2008.
This award honors an individual who has been instrumental in the development of marketing approaches that significantly enhance cable's public image and increase customers. This year’s honoree is:
Jonathan Hargis, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Cablevision Systems Corporation. Hargis is responsible for developing brand and go-to-market strategy – including the creation and execution of all marketing and advertising campaigns – to promote the company’s full suite of advanced telecommunications products to both residential and business customers. These include Optimum-branded cable television, high-speed Internet and phone products, as well as related services like Optimum WiFi, the nation’s largest and most advanced WiFi network. Hargis joined Cablevision in 2000, and under his marketing and advertising leadership Cablevision’s Optimum family of products has grown to lead the U.S. cable industry with the highest customer penetration rates, across all services, in a dynamic and competitive environment. He was instrumental in the conception and execution of the Optimum Triple Play marketing offer in 2004, which has driven Cablevision’s ability to establish three-product relationships with customers and been widely emulated across the industry.
Associates & Affiliates
This award recognizes the important contributions of equipment manufacturers and service suppliers to cable industry innovation, growth and progress. This year’s honoree is:
Mark L. Dzuban, President & CEO, Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Since joining SCTE in February 2009, Dzuban has been instrumental in positioning the organization as a leader in energy management and technical education. Under Dzuban, SCTE has instituted the Smart Energy Management Initiative, the industry’s first comprehensive energy program; hired its first CTO; and significantly expanded educational opportunities that range from e-learning courses to the SCTE Leadership Institute with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Throughout his four-decade cable career, Dzuban has been recognized as a thought leader, particularly in the development of cable telephony and other two-way services. Working across legislative, financial and engineering areas, Dzuban pioneered the concept and market acceptance of the voice services that today contribute significantly to cable’s bottom line.
The growth of cable is in large part due to the energy, vitality and creativity of the many young people working within the industry, and the Young Leadership Award recognizes those individuals who have already made a mark on the industry and its constituents. This year’s honoree is:
Jennifer Caserta, Executive Vice President & General Manager, IFC. Caserta oversees the day-to-day operations at IFC, including original programming and acquisitions, scheduling, marketing and digital media. She also serves as executive producer for a number of IFC’s original series, including the popular alternative comedies “Onion News Network,” “Portlandia,” “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” and the sketch comedy “The Whitest Kids U’ Know.” She also served as executive producer on the docu-series “Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut),” which secured IFC and the legendary comedy troupe their first ever Emmy® nominations. Caserta was recently named a “Who’s Next” leader by “Fast Company,” in addition to being the recipient of numerous industry awards and recognitions.
Attending the Awards Ceremony
Reservations are required to attend the Vanguard Awards and Luncheon at The Cable Show 2011. For more information, contact Katie Masouvian at NCTA Industry Affairs, 202/222-2430. For additional, up-to-the-minute information, or to register for The Cable Show 2011, visit the official web site (www.thecableshow.com).
- Media Attendance: The Vanguard Awards event is open to the media at no cost, but reservations are mandatory. Reporters and editors may make reservations by contacting Eric Thomas at The Fratelli Group, at 202/822-9491 or [email protected], no later than June 10, 2011.
- Photo Editors: To obtain photos of the Vanguard winners, please contact Pam Ford at [email protected].
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